This week I innerviewed Norman Inglehart, a 15-year-old Welsh Corgi, and his cat, Candy Cane the 4th. They usta live in Colorado onna ranch with horses.
Norman, a big, pretty pooch, an a lady holding a liddle cat were at the door. Surprisingly Norman didn’t come up for the Wag-and-Sniff, he stood next to his Mom and sniffed around in my general direction, so I said, “Good morning. I’m Bonzo the Columnist. You must be Norman. I’m happy to meet, er, ALL of you.”
“Ah, yes, I thought it was you. Welcome.” Norman finally came over for the Wag-and-Sniff, then, “Come along. We’ll sit.” As we were getting settled, I noticed the liddle cat was quite pretty, delicate-looking, Siamese-y but with long fluffy hair.
“This is my Mommy, Julie, and my cat and dear friend, Candy Cane the 4th (on accounta Mommy an Dad had three cats named Candy Cane before). We call her Candy.”
“Or Ma’am,” the German Shepherd interjected, helpfully.
“She’s a real old lady now: 17 anna half human years,” Norman explained.
“Puh-lease,” said Candy, with a small smile. “I am the Dowager Queen. And WHO rules the house?”
“You do, your Fluffyness!” Norman said.
Their mom placed her gently on the couch, where she curled up regally, tucking her tail around her paws.
“It’s an honor, Miss Candy, or should I call you Your Fluffyness?” I said respectfully.
“I rather like Miss Candy. Reminds me of my kitten days.” She closed her eyes, and Norman continued the introductions.
“Our Dad is Mark. He’s workin.’ This is our sister, Isabel.” The German Shepherd trotted over for a liddle nose bump.
“Hi, Mr. Bonzo! I never met a rePORder before! I promised Norman, if I could meet you in the Fur, I’d just sit over here quietly, OK?”
“Of course, Miss Isabel.”
“Norman,” Candy sat up suddenly, “you should tell your story now.” And she went back to her catnap.
“Oh, right. So Bonz, may I call you Bonz? Cool name. Like The Fonz, on TV, back in the day, right? So you’re a Springer, eh? I always pictured you Springer Spaniels boinging up an down like a Jack Russell-in-the-box, with those big ol’ ears just a flappin,’” he chuckled, an nudged me.
“That’s me – The Bonz.” (This is One Cool Poocheroo, I said to myself.) “And I always thought, when you Corgis were getting all your parts, you forgot to get in the Legs Line.”
“Now THAT’s funny,” he said. “So let’s get to business. When I first joined the famly, back in Colorado, there was a buncha animals, like now. Mommy an Dad got me as a pooch pal for Molly, an Australian cattle dog called a Blue Heeler. I was startin’ to learn Agility (had a Natural Gift), and me an Molly played all the time. But suddenly Molly went blind. Just like that. So then I was her Seeing-Eye dog.”
“Oh, Woof! That’s Soggy Dog Biscuits!”
“Sure was. But we did OK. An I kept getting’ better an better at Agility. I wasn’t scared of ANYthing. It was about that time we got Her Fluffyness. See, Mommy’s Mom worked for a vet, an there was this liddle cat, not a kitten, already 6 years old, and kinda wild an sickly. She wasn’t aDOPtubble, so she got on the Put To Sleep List. (We all know what THAT is.) But Mommy’s Mom said, ‘NO WAY.’ So I gotta cat. Even though she was sick (diabetes), from the minute she walked in, she was QUEEN. Still runs things.”
Miss Candy looked up. “You bet your whiskers! I may look small an weak, but I survived the Mean Streets, scrounging through garbudge for food and standin’ up to ferocious dogs.”
“But then,” Norman continued, “Molly went to Dog Heaven. Woof, did I miss her. The cats an horses were fine, but I missed my pooch Bestie. So Mommy an Dad got Isabel.”
Isabel walked over to Norman, an gave him a liddle nose bump an slurp. “Thanks, Izzy!” Norman said. “We hit it off right away, which was a real fortunate thing for me, cuz it wasn’t long after that the Kibbles Hit the Fan.”
“Why, what happened?”
“Well, here I was, doing terrific in Agility, really goin’ places, LOVED the competition! I mean nothing motivated me more than runnin’ those courses, or a good Tug-of-War, the harder the better. Not even food could compare.”
“Woof! That’s sayin’ something!” I exclaimed.
Then, Bonz, if you can buhLEAVE it, one day – I went blind.”
Wait!! WHAAAT? YOU? … You’re BLIND?”
“As a bat!”
I had noticed that he moved deliberately, an did a LOTTA sniffin,’ but it wasn’t like he was bumpin’ into everything. “I had no idea,” I said.
“Took me a liddle time to learn the lay of the land, but now I’m good. My nose sorta took over for my eyes. An Her Fluffyness here keeps track of me, hangs out with me a lot.”
“It’s a bummer you can’t compete anymore. You must miss it.”
“Fer sure. But I still do the course just for fun, with Mom, even the off-the-ground parts, an I’m still not scared. I also love rollin’ in the grass or the rug. I make a special rollin’-in-the-grass sound Mommy says sounds like Chewbacca.
To demonstrate, Norman’s Mommy got down on all fours with Norman: They began to ruff-house and Norman burst out with this woofy-growly-howly sound.
“Yep! Definitely Chewbacca!”
Heading home, I couldn’t get over how well Norman faces all his challenges. It’s no wonder he sounds like Chewbacca. The force is strong in this one.
Till next time,